Thanks to Mindy Groff (our occasional guest-blogger from the Carriage Museum of America) for this post on exploring public libraries …

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When I visit a new place, I’m always curious to see the library. Wherever we travel – from Mackinac Island to the campus of Yale, New York City to Indianapolis – my husband has gotten used to taking detours so that I can poke around neat buildings and unique collections. But there are many parts of this country I’ve yet to explore and many libraries I will never get a chance to visit. Because of this, I’m always excited to learn about opportunities to peruse collections online from the comfort of my computer.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an internet portal through which materials from collections around the country can be searched, viewed, and even downloaded. It’s a way for internet users like you and me to search through the holdings at libraries, archives, and museums around the country, without visiting them in person. The DPLA pulls resources from a variety of “Hubs,” (large libraries or collecting institutions around the country, which in turn collect resources from smaller organizations within their region), and assembles them into a single searchable database. So with a simple search on their website (www.dp.la), you can access materials from around the country.

I’ve spent a good part of my morning exploring this website. (Have I mentioned recently that I love my job?) Knowing that readers of this blog share my interest in history and/or carriages, I know that you’ll enjoy it as well. Here are just a few of my favorite finds from typing “carriage” into the search box. Try a search for yourself to find thousands more!

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dpla carriage in south yard

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From the collection of the Smithsonian Archives – History Division

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dpla horse and carriage crossing river

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Image courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.

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